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नानक इह बिधि हरि भजउ

नोट: यह लेख PDF फ़ारमैट में भी उपलब्ध है। डाउनलोड करने के लिये इस लिन्क पर जाएँ: –
http://www.amritworld.com/hindi/articles/nanak_eh_bidh_har_bhajau_hindi.pdf

(अमृत पाल सिंघ ‘अमृत’)

किसी जीव मेँ अवगुण भी हो सकते हैं और सद्गुण भी। कुत्ता भी जीव है। कुत्ते मेँ अवगुण भी हैं और गुण भी हैं।

कुत्ते मेँ एक अच्छा गुण है, उसका अपने मालिक के प्रति वफ़ादार होना। मालिक उसको अच्छा भोजन दे या बुरा, कुत्ता अपने मालिक का साथ नहीं छोड़ता। मालिक उनकी पिटाई करे, तो भी कुत्ता अपने मालिक का दर नहीं छोड़ता, ऐसा बहुत प्रसिद्ध है।

खोजी विद्वानों का कहना है कि कुत्ते का साथ इन्सान की शारीरक और मानसिक सेहत के लिये बहुत अच्छा है। जिन लोगों ने कुत्ते पाले हुये हैं, उनकी सेहत और लोगों के मुक़ाबले मेँ बढ़िया रहती है और दिल भी ख़ुश रहता है। जो लोग कुत्ता पालते हैं, उनकी बढ़िया सेहत की एक वजह यह भी है कि कुत्ते की देखभाल करते-करते उनकी अच्छी कसरत हो जाती है।

कुत्ता एक अच्छे दोस्त की तरह अपने मालिक के दु:ख-सुख को महसूस करने की योग्यता रखता है। इस बारे मेँ कई कहानियाँ हमें सुनने को मिल जाती हैं। वह अपाहिज लोग, जिन्होने कुत्ता रखा होता है, अजनबी लोगों से मिलते वक़्त ज़्यादा सुरक्षित महसूस करते हैं। डिप्रेशन आदि मानसिक समस्याओं से परेशान लोगों के लिये कुत्ता बहुत बढ़िया मददगार साबित होता है।

कुत्ता हज़ारों सालों से इन्सानों के साथ चला आ रहा है। इन्सान की तवारीख़ मेँ कुत्ते का ज़िक्र शुरू से ही मिलता है। दुनिया भर के साहित्य मेँ कुत्तों का ज़िक्र है। बुल्ले शाह ने भी कुत्ते का ज़िक्र करते हुये कहा था: –

बुल्लिया ! रातीं जागें, दिनें पीर सदावें,
रातीं जागण कुत्ते,
तैं थीं उत्ते।

गुरुवाणी मेँ बहुत जगहों पर वाणीकारों ने ख़ुद को कुत्ता (कूकर) कहा है, जैसे: –

हम कूकर तेरै दरबारि ॥ (९६९, श्री गुरु ग्रंथ साहिब जी)।

और,

कबीर कूकरू राम कउ (१३६८, श्री गुरु ग्रंथ साहिब जी)।

कुत्ते में कुछ अवगुण भी हैं और गुरुवाणी ने इन अवगुणों की भी बात की है, पर जो भी हो, कुत्तों के अवगुणों से उनके गुण ज़्यादा हैं।

एक गुण कुत्ते मेँ ऐसा है, जो उसके अवगुणों को छिपा लेता है। यह गुण है वफ़ादारी का। श्री सद्गुरु तेग़ बहादुर साहिब ने भी कुत्ते (श्वान/सुआन) के अपने मालिक के प्रति वफ़ादार होने के गुण का ज़िक्र करते हुये एक-मन और एक-चित हो कर हरि की भक्ति करने की बात कही है: –

सुआमी को ग्रिहु जिउ सदा सुआन तजत नही नित ॥
नानक इह बिधि हरि भजउ इक मनि हुइ इक चिति ॥४५॥
(१४२८, श्री गुरु ग्रंथ साहिब जी)।

श्री सद्गुरु कहते हैं कि जैसे कुत्ता अपने मालिक का घर कभी नहीं छोड़ता, हे नानक ! इसी तरह ही एक-मन हो कर, एक-चित हो कर हरि का भजन किया जाना चाहिये।

‘सुआमी को ग्रिहु’, स्वामी का गृह, मालिक का घर। सुआन कुत्ते को कहते हैं। ‘तजत नही’, त्याग नहीं देता, छोड़ता नहीं। अर्थात, जैसे कुत्ता अपने मालिक का घर कभी नहीं छोड़ता।

‘नानक’, अपने-आप को सम्बोधित करते हुये सद्गुरु कहते हैं, ‘हे नानक !’, ‘इह बिधि’, इस विधि से, इस तरीक़े से। ‘हरि भजउ’, हरि का भजन करो, प्रभु की बन्दगी/सुमिरन करो। ‘इक मनि’, एक-मन हो कर, मन की ऐसी अवस्था बना कर, जब कोई और विचार मन मेँ न रहे। ‘इक चिति’, एक-चित हो कर। जब चित की अवस्था ऐसी हो जाए कि चित प्रभु का ही रूप हो जाये।

‘इह बिधि’। कौन-सी विधि? श्लोक की पहली पंक्ति मेँ कुत्ते की वफ़ादारी का ज़िक्र किया। वफ़ादारी की उसी विधि का प्रयोग करो प्रभु के लिये भी। कोई भी स्थिति हो, कुत्ता अपने मालिक का घर नहीं छोड़ता। भक्त भी वफ़ादारी की उसी विधि का प्रयोग करे। मालिक प्रभु जिस तरह रखे, उसकी रज़ा मेँ राज़ी रहना।

श्री सद्गुरु रामदास जी महाराज ने कितना सुन्दर कहा है:-

जे सुखु देहि त तुझहि अराधी दुखि भी तुझै धिआई ॥२॥
जे भुख देहि त इत ही राजा दुख विचि सूख मनाई ॥३॥
तनु मनु काटि काटि सभु अरपी विचि अगनी आपु जलाई ॥४॥
पखा फेरी पाणी ढोवा जो देवहि सो खाई ॥५॥
नानकु गरीबु ढहि पइआ दुआरै हरि मेलि लैहु वडिआई ॥६॥
अखी काढि धरी चरणा तलि सभ धरती फिरि मत पाई ॥७॥
जे पासि बहालहि ता तुझहि अराधी जे मारि कढहि भी धिआई ॥८॥
जे लोकु सलाहे ता तेरी उपमा जे निंदै त छोडि न जाई ॥९॥
(७५७, श्री गुरु ग्रंथ साहिब जी)।

श्री सद्गुरु रामदास जी महाराज कहते हैं कि हे प्रभु ! अगर तुम मुझे सुख दो, तो भी मैं तेरा ही आराधन करता रहूँ। अगर दु:खों मेँ हूँ, तो भी तेरी ही आराधना करता रहूँ।२। अगर तुम मुझे भूखे रखो, तो इस (भूख) मेँ भी मैं भर-पेट रहूँ। (तेरे दिये) दु:खों मेँ सुख ही भोगता रहूँ ।३। अपना तन और मन काट-काट के सब तेरे लिये अर्पण कर दूँ। आग मेँ खुद को जला दूँ।४। (तेरे लिये) पंखा फेरूँ। (तेरे लिये) पानी लाऊं। (हे प्रभु!) जो तुम दो, वह ही मैं खा लूँ।५। (महाराज कहते हैं कि मैं) ग़रीब नानक तुम्हारे दर पर आ गिरा हूँ। हे प्रभु! मुझे अपने मेँ मिला लो। यह ही तुम्हारा बढ़पन है, शोभा है।६। (अपनी) आखें निकाल कर (प्रभु) के चरणों के नीचे रख दूँ। सारी धरती पर (भी अगर मुझे तेरी तलाश मेँ घूमना पड़े, तो मैं) घूमता रहूँ, (यह सोच कर कि) शायद मुझे प्रभु मिल जाये, शायद परमात्मा से मेरा मेल हो जाये।७। अगर तुम मुझे अपने पास बैठा लो, तो मैं तेरी ही आराधना करूँ। अगर तुम मार-पीट कर के (अपने दर से) निकाल दो, तो भी मैं तेरी ही आराधना करता रहूँ।८। अगर दुनिया मेरी तारीफ़ करे, तो भी मैं तेरी ही गुणगान करता रहूँ। अगर समाज मेरी निन्दा करे, तो भी (मैं तेरी भक्ति) छोड़ कर न जाऊँ।९।

यह है वफ़ादारी प्रभु के प्रति। प्रभु जैसी भी अवस्था मेँ रखे, भक्त उसमें ही राज़ी है, ख़ुश है।

ऐसी ही वफ़ादारी की बात श्री सद्गुरु तेग़ बहादुर साहिब ने की है, जब उन्होने कहा: –

सुआमी को ग्रिहु जिउ सदा सुआन तजत नही नित ॥
नानक इह बिधि हरि भजउ इक मनि हुइ इक चिति ॥४५॥
(१४२८, श्री गुरु ग्रंथ साहिब जी)।

वफ़ादारी दुर्लभ हो गयी है आजकल। न परिवार के लिये वफ़ादारी रही, न दोस्तों के लिये। न समाज के लिये वफ़ादारी रही, न धर्म के लिये।

परिवार के लिये वफ़ादारी क्या है?

जिस परिवार ने, या परिवार के जिन सदस्यों ने पाल-पोस के बड़ा किया, पढ़ाया-लिखाया, रोज़गार करने लायक बनाया, उस परिवार या परिवार के सदस्यों के प्रति अपनी ज़िम्मेदारी निभाना ही परिवार के प्रति वफ़ादारी है।

परंतु, ज़्यादातर होता क्या है?

जिस परिवार ने, या जिन पारिवारिक सदस्यों ने पाल-पोस के बड़ा किया, पढ़ाया-लिखाया, रोज़गार करने लायक बनाया, उस परिवार या परिवार के सदस्यों के प्रति अपनी ज़िम्मेदारी भूल कर लोभी इन्सान अपने ही सुखों के लिये यतनशील हो जाता है। शादी हो गयी, तो इन्सान अपने माँ-बाप आदि के प्रति अपनी ज़िम्मेदारी भूल कर अपनी पत्नी को लेकर माँ-बाप से अलग हो जाता है।

जब पैदा हुये, तो भगवान को बिसार दिया, जब शादी हुयी, तो माँ-बाप को भुला दिया।

भाई गुरदास जी ने इस बारे मेँ ऐसा लिखा है: –

कामणि कामणिआरीऐ कीतो कामणु कंत पिआरे ॥
जम्मे सांई विसारिआ वीवाहिआं माँ पिअ विसारे ॥
सुखां सुखि वीवाहिआ सउणु संजोगु विचारि विचारे ॥
पुत नूहै दा मेलु वेखि अंग ना माथनि माँ पिउ वारे ॥
नून्ह नित मंत कुमंत देइ माँ पिउ छडि वडे हतिआरे ॥
वख होवै पुतु रंनि लै माँ पिउ दे उपकारु विसारे ॥
लोकाचारि होए वडे कुचारे ॥१२॥
(वार ३७)।

दोस्तों से वफ़ादारी अब बस किताबों मेँ ही लिखी रह गयी है। शायर बशीर बदर का एक शेयर है: –

दोस्तों से वफ़ा की उम्मीदें,
किस ज़माने के आदमी तुम हो?

आज के वक़्त मेँ सियासत मेँ वफ़ा की उम्मीद करना ही बेवकूफी माना जायेगा। सियासत आज समाज की सेवा करने के लिये नहीं, बल्कि अपना घर भरने के लिये ही समझी जाती है। सियासत की थोड़ी-सी जानकारी रखने वाले जानते हैं कि आज की सियासत मेँ वफ़ादारी की कोई गुंजायश ही नहीं रही। अपनी सियासी जमायत मेँ कोई रुतबा न मिला, तो पार्टी छोड़ दी। इलैक्शन लड़ने के लिये टिकेट नहीं मिली, तो पार्टी छोड़ दी। दूसरी पार्टी की तरफ से अच्छे रुतबे की पेशकश हुयी, तो पार्टी छोड़ दी। एक बार पार्टी छोड़ देने के बाद उसी पार्टी की तरफ से कोई लालच दिया गया, तो वापिस उसी पार्टी मेँ जाने से भी कोई संकोच नहीं। वफ़ादारी नहीं, बल्कि ज़ाती फ़ायदे ही देखे जाते हैं आज की सियासत मेँ।

वफ़ादार की कमी अब मज़हब की दुनिया मेँ भी ख़ूब देखने को मिलती है। कुछ सहूलतों या पैसों के लालच मेँ कई लोग अपना मज़हब तक तब्दील करने मेँ झिझक महसूस नहीं करते। सियासी फ़ायदे के लिये भी मज़हब बदलने मेँ कुछ लोग देर नहीं करते। यह कहना ग़लत न होगा कि बहुत बार मज़हब को सियासी ताक़त हासिल करने के लिये एक औज़ार से ज़्यादा कुछ नहीं समझा जाता। बहुत जगहों पर मज़हबी रहनुमा अपने सियासी आक़ाओं के हुकुम मानने वाले ही होते हैं।

जिस समाज मेँ न परिवार के प्रति वफ़ादारी है, न दोस्तों के प्रति; न समाज के प्रति वफ़ादार है, न मज़हब के प्रति; वहाँ प्रभु के प्रति वफ़ादारी रखने वाले कितने लोग होंगे? जिस समाज मेँ वफ़ादार इन्सान कम ही मिलते हों, वहाँ कुत्तों की वफ़ादारी की कहानियाँ सुनना बहुत अच्छा लगता है। कुत्ते की वफ़ादारी से अगर इन्सान कुछ सीख ले ले, तो बहुत अच्छी बात होगी।

जैसे कुत्ता अपने मालिक के प्रति वफ़ादार होता है और उसको कभी नहीं छोड़ता, उसी तरह हमें भी अपने प्रभु मालिक प्रति वफ़ादार रह कर उसकी भक्ति मेँ लगना चाहिये। संसारी वस्तुएं, धन-दौलत, सियासी या सामाजिक पदों के लालच मेँ लग कर प्रभु-भक्ति का त्याग नहीं कर देना चाहिये।

जैसे कुत्ता अपने मालिक का घर कभी नहीं छोड़ता, उसी तरह ही एक-मन हो कर, एक-चित हो कर हरि का भजन किया जाना चाहिये।

सुआमी को ग्रिहु जिउ सदा सुआन तजत नही नित ॥
नानक इह बिधि हरि भजउ इक मनि हुइ इक चिति ॥४५॥
(१४२८, श्री गुरु ग्रंथ साहिब जी)।

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Old Memories… Your Eyes Will Be Wet…

In blossoms of garden,
in colourful sights,
when you will search for me,
your eyes will be wet…

Then you will for all time miss me…

(Translation of a stanza of a poem written by: Younus Hamdam).

गुलशन की बहारों में, रंगीन नज़ारों में,
जब तुम मुझे ढूंढोगे, आँखों में नमी होगी।
महसूस तुम्हें हरदम फिर मेरी कमी होगी।
(शायर: यूनुस हमदम)।

ਗੁਲਸ਼ਨ ਕੀ ਬਹਾਰੋਂ ਮੇਂ, ਰੰਗੀਨ ਨਜ਼ਾਰੋਂ ਮੇਂ,
ਜਬ ਤੁਮ ਮੁਝੇ ਢੂੰਢੋਗੇ, ਆਂਖੋਂ ਮੇਂ ਨਮੀ ਹੋਗੀ ।
ਮਹਿਸੂਸ ਤੁਮ੍ਹੇਂ ਹਰਦਮ ਫਿਰ ਮੇਰੀ ਕਮੀ ਹੋਗੀ.
(ਸ਼ਾਇਰ: ਯੂਨੁਸ ਹਮਦਮ)।

گلشن کی بہاروں میں
رنگین نظاروں میں
جب تم مجھے ڈھوندھوگے
آنکھوں میں نمی ہوگی

محسوس تمہے ہردم پھر میری کمی ہوگی

(شیر: یونس ہمدم)

Amrit Pal Singh 'Amrit'

Old Memories…

ਮੈ ਤਾਣੁ ਦੀਬਾਣੁ ਤੂਹੈ ਮੇਰੇ ਸੁਆਮੀ ਮੈ ਤੁਧੁ ਆਗੈ ਅਰਦਾਸਿ ॥
ਮੈ ਹੋਰੁ ਥਾਉ ਨਾਹੀ ਜਿਸੁ ਪਹਿ ਕਰਉ ਬੇਨੰਤੀ ਮੇਰਾ ਦੁਖੁ ਸੁਖੁ ਤੁਝ ਹੀ ਪਾਸਿ ॥੨॥

(੭੩੫, ਗੁਰੂ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਜੀ)।

You alone are my strength, and my Court,
O my Lord and Master;
unto You alone I pray.
There is no other place where I can offer my prayers;
I can tell my pains and pleasures only to You..

(Page 735, Guru Granth Sahib).

Old Memories… 2004…

Amrit Pal Singh 'Amrit' performing prayer in Gurdwara

‘ਜਦੋਂ ਉਹ ਪਰਤਣਗੇ’ – ਕਵਿਤਾ- (ਆਡੀਉ/ਵੀਡੀਉ) Punjabi Poem

Here is the audio/video of Amrit Pal Singh ‘Amrit’s Punjabi poem ‘Jadon Oh Paratange‘..

ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤ ਪਾਲ ਸਿੰਘ ‘ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤ’ ਦੀ ਪੰਜਾਬੀ ਕਵਿਤਾ ‘ਜਦੋਂ ਉਹ ਪਰਤਣਗੇ‘ ਦੀ ਆਡੀਉ/ਵੀਡੀਉ…

Innocent Until Proved Guilty

(Amrit Pal Singh ‘Amrit’)

Article 11
(1) Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence.
(2) No one shall be held guilty of any penal offence on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a penal offence, under national or international law, at the time when it was committed. Nor shall a heavier penalty be imposed than the one that was applicable at the time the penal offence was committed.

(The Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted by the United Nations)

The Part 1 of the article 11 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the United Nations says:

(1) Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence.

Article 11 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in fact further expands the rights given in Article 10.

Even if a person is indicted with a penal crime, he has the right to be considered innocent until proved guilty.

It is possible that an innocent person is accused of punishable offences. If he is considered guilty even without trial, it is a violation of his basic human rights. One needs to understand the difference between an ‘accused’ and a ‘guilty’. The legal system is supposed to punish a ‘guilty’, not an ‘accused’. First, the offences made by an ‘accused’ should be proven according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence, and if he is proved ‘guilty’, he should be punished accordingly.

‘All the guarantees necessary for a defense’ has been mentioned in the 3rd point of Article 14 of International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights in these words: –

3. In the determination of any criminal charge against him, everyone shall be entitled to the following minimum guarantees, in full equality:

(a) To be informed promptly and in detail in a language which he understands of the nature and cause of the charge against him;

(b) To have adequate time and facilities for the preparation of his defence and to communicate with counsel of his own choosing;

(c) To be tried without undue delay;

(d) To be tried in his presence, and to defend himself in person or through legal assistance of his own choosing; to be informed, if he does not have legal assistance, of this right; and to have legal assistance assigned to him, in any case where the interests of justice so require, and without payment by him in any such case if he does not have sufficient means to pay for it;

(e) To examine, or have examined, the witnesses against him and to obtain the attendance and examination of witnesses on his behalf under the same conditions as witnesses against him;

(f) To have the free assistance of an interpreter if he cannot understand or speak the language used in court;

(g) Not to be compelled to testify against himself or to confess guilt.

The Part 2 of the article 11 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights says:

(2) No one shall be held guilty of any penal offence on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a penal offence, under national or international law, at the time when it was committed. Nor shall a heavier penalty be imposed than the one that was applicable at the time the penal offence was committed.

We need to understand this part carefully.

It is possible that an action is considered no crime at a particular time; however on a later stage the same action is considered a criminal act under any national or international law.

For example, according to the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, killing a tiger is a criminal offence.

However, if any person had killed a tiger before the passing of this law, he cannot be tried under this penal code.

According to the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, the minimum imprisonment prescribed is three years which may extend up to seven years.

Now, suppose a person kills a tiger in India. Maximum imprisonment prescribed is seven years according to the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. After he committed the crime, suppose the Indian government amends the law and extends imprisonment up to 14 years. The accused when proved guilty cannot be given imprisonment for 14 years. It is simply because when he committed the crime, the maximum punishment was seven years in prison.

In case, he is imprisoned for more than seven years, it is a violation of his basic human rights, according to the Article 11 of Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Failure to Implement Universal Declaration

(Amrit Pal Singh ‘Amrit’) December 10, 2013

On December 10, 1948, the United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This Declaration was the first international acknowledgment that all human beings have basic rights and freedoms.

65 years after the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations, position of human rights has not been changed very much. Even after 65 years, ordinary people of so many countries do not know what human rights are. No concrete steps have been taken to stop human rights abuses worldwide. The United Nations and various governments should realise that it is their failure and they cannot run away from their accountability.

Universal Declaration of Human Rights

It is the time for the UN, governments, human rights organisations and individual human rights defenders to sit together and make an effective plan for implementation of Universal Declaration of Human Rights. If we do not make suitable efforts in this direction, the state of affairs of human rights and freedom will not change in next 65 years either.

What You Tolerate Today Will Go On Tomorrow

(Amrit Pal Singh ‘Amrit’)

What you tolerate today will go on tomorrow. In fact, tomorrow, it will be more difficult and harder to get rid of. If you are prepared to let this go on, it will go on. It will continue on, only if you continue allowing it to happen.

You had been deceived yesterday. You are cheated today. And, you will be defrauded tomorrow as well, because you are allowing yourself to be defrauded today.

Yesterday, you allowed an evil cultist to fool you on the name of religion. Yesterday, you let a racist to dupe you on the name of race. Yesterday, you permitted a hatemonger to deceive you on the name of language. Yesterday, you agreed to a politician to fool you on the name of nationality. Yesterday, you tolerated a bigot to bamboozle you on the name of gender. And, all those things are happening even today. They are happening today, because you allowed them to happen yesterday. And, sorry to say, they will be happening tomorrow as well, because you are allowing them to take place today.

You have been cheated, because you are cheating yourself.

Today, rapists are raping innocent daughters and sisters in all over the world. Today, well-organised and state-sponsored terrorists are killing civilians on the name of religion. Today, human rights are abused in so many countries. Today, extremist forces are attacking peaceful societies. Today, evil and inhuman ideologies are trying to wipe out every kind of freedom. And, it will be happening tomorrow as well, because we have allowed it to happen today.

However, you can choose right now to change your direction. You can choose right now to change your future. You can choose. You have the right to do so. You should do it.

You cannot change your ‘yesterday’. You can try to make your ‘tomorrow’ better, only if you perfectly transform your ‘today’. Today is trying to get your thought. If you turn a blind eye to this, if you do not amend this ‘today’, it is will go away forever. It will turn into ‘yesterday’, and you can under no circumstances change your ‘yesterday’.

The Right to A Fair Trial

(Amrit Pal Singh ‘Amrit’)

In every community and country, it is common that civil as well as criminal disputes arise between two or more parties. Criminals are born in every part of the world. It is required that crimes must be stopped. If a crime is committed, the criminal must be punished.

A judicial assessment and determination of legal issues arising between parties to a civil or criminal action is called ‘trial’. When two or more parties cannot resolve their dispute by themselves, the method of trial is used to decide the issue. In case of any crime, the authorities first find the accused and then the accused is put on trial.

The aim of a trial is to secure fair and unprejudiced administration of justice, to find out the truth of the matters, and to apply the law to those matters. A trial offers a final decision of the dispute.

There are two basic types of trials. One is civil trial and other is criminal trial. In a criminal trial, an accused is found guilty or acquitted. If the accused is found guilty, the accused is sentenced according to laws. All types of actions other than criminal actions are civil actions, which are decided by civil trials.

According to the Article 10 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the United Nations: –

Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him.

In simple words, if anyone goes on trial, this should be done in public. The people who try a person should not be biased.

The Article 14 of International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights further explains the right of free trial in these words: –

1. All persons shall be equal before the courts and tribunals. In the determination of any criminal charge against him, or of his rights and obligations in a suit at law, everyone shall be entitled to a fair and public hearing by a competent, independent and impartial tribunal established by law. The Press and the public may be excluded from all or part of a trial for reasons of morals, public order (ordre public) or national security in a democratic society, or when the interest of the private lives of the parties so requires, or to the extent strictly necessary in the opinion of the court in special circumstances where publicity would prejudice the interests of justice; but any judgement rendered in a criminal case or in a suit at law shall be made public except where the interest of juvenile persons otherwise requires or the proceedings concern matrimonial disputes or the guardianship of children.

2. Everyone charged with a criminal offence shall have the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law.

3. In the determination of any criminal charge against him, everyone shall be entitled to the following minimum guarantees, in full equality:

(a) To be informed promptly and in detail in a language which he understands of the nature and cause of the charge against him;

(b) To have adequate time and facilities for the preparation of his defence and to communicate with counsel of his own choosing;

(c) To be tried without undue delay;

(d) To be tried in his presence, and to defend himself in person or through legal assistance of his own choosing; to be informed, if he does not have legal assistance, of this right; and to have legal assistance assigned to him, in any case where the interests of justice so require, and without payment by him in any such case if he does not have sufficient means to pay for it;

(e) To examine, or have examined, the witnesses against him and to obtain the attendance and examination of witnesses on his behalf under the same conditions as witnesses against him;

(f) To have the free assistance of an interpreter if he cannot understand or speak the language used in court;

(g) Not to be compelled to testify against himself or to confess guilt.

4. In the case of juvenile persons, the procedure shall be such as will take account of their age and the desirability of promoting their rehabilitation.

5. Everyone convicted of a crime shall have the right to his conviction and sentence being reviewed by a higher tribunal according to law.

6. When a person has by a final decision been convicted of a criminal offence and when subsequently his conviction has been reversed or he has been pardoned on the ground that a new or newly discovered fact shows conclusively that there has been a miscarriage of justice, the person who has suffered punishment as a result of such conviction shall be compensated according to law, unless it is proved that the non-disclosure of the unknown fact in time is wholly or partly attributable to him.

7. No one shall be liable to be tried or punished again for an offence for which he has already been finally convicted or acquitted in accordance with the law and penal procedure of each country.

Arbitrary Arrest, Detention And Exile

(Amrit Pal Singh ‘Amrit’)

When someone is kept in custody without proper due process of law despite the fact that he or she committed no offence, it is called ‘arbitrary arrest’ or ‘arbitrary detention’.

According to the Article 9 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted by the United Nations on December 10, 1948: –

No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.

In simple words, no one has the right to put someone in prison, to keep him or her there, or to send him or her away from his/her country unjustly, or without good reason.

Article 9 of International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights says:

1. Everyone has the right to liberty and security of person. No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest or detention. No one shall be deprived of his liberty except on such grounds and in accordance with such procedure as are established by law.

2. Anyone who is arrested shall be informed, at the time of arrest, of the reasons for his arrest and shall be promptly informed of any charges against him.

3. Anyone arrested or detained on a criminal charge shall be brought promptly before a judge or other officer authorized by law to exercise judicial power and shall be entitled to trial within a reasonable time or to release. It shall not be the general rule that persons awaiting trial shall be detained in custody, but release may be subject to guarantees to appear for trial, at any other stage of the judicial proceedings, and, should occasion arise, for execution of the judgment.

4. Anyone who is deprived of his liberty by arrest or detention shall be entitled to take proceedings before a court, in order that that court may decide without delay on the lawfulness of his detention and order his release if the detention is not lawful.

5. Anyone who has been the victim of unlawful arrest or detention shall have an enforceable right to compensation.

National law should set down the grounds and procedures for arrest and detention. People should not be arrested and detained except as provided for by law. Neither the arrest nor the detention should be arbitrary. Here, the term ‘detention’ applies to all forms of detention where people are deprived of their liberty.

Almost in every case of arbitrary arrest, the victim is neither given explanation regarding his or her arrest, nor is he or she shown any arrest warrant.

Though, arbitrary arrests and detentions are typically made by governments as a technique to hold back opposition; many fanatical groups too occasionally use such tactics to silence their opponents. A detainee sometimes is tortured during his or her arbitrary arrest.

Many pseudo democratic governments, dictatorships and police states carry out arbitrary arrests and ‘forced disappearance’ in response to street demonstrations. It is common that arbitrarily detained persons suffer physical as well as psychological torture during their detention.

No person can be denied his or her freedom. No person can be taken into arbitrary arrest. No person can be exiled from his/her country without having first committed an actual crime against the law.